A seemingly insignificant stream dribbled along behind a village. Legend ascribed life-giving powers to its water. The forefathers rummaged through jungle undergrowth to locate the hidden stream bubbling from a deep spring, and then they would kneel and drink. The journey was hot and the flies pesky, but their thirst was quenched.
When civilization came to the village, the people became tired of rummaging through the jungle in the heat for water. A shop was built selling soda pop, and the stream was forgotten. The buzz around the village was about progress. The shop was doing a roaring trade, but everyone remained strangely thirsty.
This paints a vivid picture of the spiritual outfall when we become tired of reaching for the hidden, deep-flowing Stream of God’s love, grace, and power revealed by the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor.12:13). Without the energy to find the Stream or the humility to kneel and drink, we cannot receive anything from God. No love, forgiveness, healing words, vision, truth, hope, peace, spiritual authority, or power; no receiving, no response, no authentic life with God.
Man-made church activities masquerade as the embodiment of progress, appealing to “easily satisfied religionists” but without the spiritual power to quench the thirst of their souls.
Like the challenges intrepid adventurers face to unlock the final vault leading to the Holy Grail, reaching this lost Stream has a challenge too: its water is found in the desert, and each person must find it for themselves. Is it possible we have, at the door to the last vault, balked at this foolish idea? Have we been put off by the fact the Stream starts so hidden, quiet, small and personal? Is it possible we have built scaffolding over the Stream, effectively replacing it with a shop peddling a plethora of sugary drinks that do not satisfy?